2021-11-29 10:11

Digital Image Processing and Edge Detection

Digital Image Processing

Interest in digital image processing methods stems from two principal applica- tion areas: improvement of pictorial information for human interpretation; and processing of image data for storage, transmission, and representation for au- tonomous machine perception.

An image may be defined as a two-dimensional function, f(x, y), where x and y are spatial (plane) coordinates, and the amplitude of f at any pair of coordinates (x, y) is called the intensity or gray level of the image at that point. When x, y, and the amplitude values of f are all finite, discrete quantities, we call the image a digital image. The field of digital image processing refers to processing digital images by means of a digital computer. Note that a digital image is composed of a finite number of elements, each of which has a particular location and value. These elements are referred to as picture elements, image elements, pels, and pixels. Pixel is the term most widely used to denote the elements of a digital image.

Vision is the most advanced of our senses, so it is not surprising that images play the single most important role in human perception. However, unlike humans, who are limited to the visual band of the electromagnetic (EM) spec- trum, imaging machines cover almost the entire EM spectrum, ranging from gamma to radio waves. They can operate on images generated by sources that humans are not accustomed to associating with images. These include ultra- sound, electron microscopy, and computer-generated images. Thus, digital image processing encompasses a wide and varied field of applications.

There is no general agreement among authors regarding where image processing stops and other related areas, such as image analysis and computer vi- sion, start. Sometimes a distinction is made by defining image processing as a discipline in which both the input and output of a process are images. We believe this to be a limiting and somewhat artificial boundary. For example, under this definition, even the trivial task of computing the average intensity of an image (which yields a single number) would not be considered an image processing operation. On the other hand, there are fields such as computer vision whose ultimate goal is to use computers to emulate human vision, including learning and being able to make inferences and take actions based on visual inputs. This area itself is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) whose objective is to emulate human intelligence. The field of AI is in its earliest stages of infancy in terms of development, with progress having been much slower than originally anticipated. The area of image analysis (also called image understanding) is in be- tween image processing and computer vision.

There are no clearcut boundaries in the continuum from image processing at one end to computer vision at the other. However, one useful paradigm is to consider three types of computerized processes in this continuum: low-, mid-, and highlevel processes. Low-level processes involve primitive opera- tions such as image preprocessing to reduce noise, contrast enhancement, and image sharpening. A low-level process is characterized by the fact that both its inputs and outputs are images. Mid-level processing on images involves tasks such as segmentation (partitioning an image into regions or objects), description of those objects to reduce them to a form suitable for computer processing, and classification (recognition) of individual objects. A midlevel process is characterized by the fact that its inputs generally are images, but its outputs are attributes extracted from those images (e.g., edges, contours, and the identity of individual objects). Finally, higherlevel processing involves “making sense” of an ensemble of recognized objects, as in image analysis, and, at the far end of the continuum, performing the cognitive functions normally associated with vision.

Based on the preceding comments, we see that a logical place of overlap between image processing and image analysis is the area of recognition of individual regions or objects in an image. Thus, what we call in this book digital image processing encompasses processes whose inputs and outputs are images and, in addition, encompasses processes that extract attributes from images, up to and including the recognition of individual objects. As a simple illustration to clarify these concepts, consider the area of automated analysis of text. The processes of acquiring an image of the area containing the text, preprocessing that image, extracting (segmenting) the individual characters, describing the characters in a form suitable for computer processing, and recognizing those individual characters are in the scope of what we call digital image processing in this book. Making sense of the content of the page may be viewed as being in the domain of image analysis and even computer vision, depending on the level of complexity implied by the statement “making sense.” As will become evident shortly, digital image processing, as we have defined it, is used successfully in a broad range of areas of exceptional social and economic value.

The areas of application of digital image processing are so varied that some form of organization is desirable in attempting to capture the breadth of this field. One of the simplest ways to develop a basic understanding of the extent of image processing applications is to categorize images according to their source (e.g., visual, X-ray, and so on). The principal energy sou




一幅图像可定义为一个二维函数f(x,y),这里x和y是空间坐标,而在任何一对空间坐标(x,y)上的幅值f 称为该点图像的强度或灰度。当x,y和幅值f为有限的、离散的数值时,称该图像为数字图像。数字图像处理是指借用数字计算机处理数字图像,值得提及的是数字图像是由有限的元素组成的,每一个元素都有一个特定的位置和幅值,这些元素称为图像元素、画面元素或像素。像素是广泛用于表示数字图像元素的词汇。

































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